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Lisandro Martinez believes it was 'really important' to embrace Raphael Varane after World Cup final

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Lisandro Martinez believes it was 'really important' to embrace Raphael Varane after World Cup final

‘It’s like we’ve known each other for ages’: Lisandro Martinez believes it was ‘really important’ to hug Raphael Varane after World Cup final as Man United begin to reap the rewards of budding bromance

Lisandro Martinez believes his hug with Raphael Varane after beating France with Argentina to win the World Cup was crucial to the pair’s budding partnership on the pitch.

The former Ajax defender was a substitute in the World Cup final at the Lusail Stadium in Qatar, but was quick to comfort his Manchester United defensive partner and insist their relationship off the field has benefited them here.

Martinez’s fighting spirit has been praised by Erik ten Hag since his arrival in the Premier League, and he has bolstered a defense that has looked shaky in the past with Varane – who was both in action in Friday’s 3-1 FA Cup win against Everton.

Lisandro Martinez hugs Raphael Varane after winning the World Cup with Argentina

Lisandro Martinez hugs Raphael Varane after winning the World Cup with Argentina

Varane was also seen hugging his Manchester United teammate as a guard of honour

Varane was also seen hugging his Manchester United teammate as a guard of honour

And the 24-year-old spoke of the importance of the pair’s bromance, saying they share ‘mutual love and respect’.

‘It’s really, really important,’ he said, when asked about his comforts and hugs for Varane in Lusail.

‘We’ve only known each other for a short time at United but we get on really well and there’s a real mutual respect and feeling between us. It’s like we’ve known each other for years.

‘He’s my opponent, but that’s football. A team has to win, and the winning team has to lose, but I think it’s important to recognize that.

‘There is mutual love and respect between us. We shared that hug and it was important because that’s how football is. What happens on the pitch stays on the pitch, but what happens off it is just as important and relationships like this count.’

Martinez arrived at United in the summer of 2022, one of two players along with Brazilian forward Antony to follow Ten Hag to Old Trafford from the Dutch capital.

Martinez's arrival in the summer of 2022 coincided with an improved Man United defensive unit

Martinez’s arrival in the summer of 2022 coincided with an improved Man United defensive unit

And although he arrived to a mixed response – with many questioning his diminutive stature – he has proved vital to United’s recent resurgence with the Red Devils currently on a seven-match winning streak.

And when playing alongside Varane in the center of defence, Martinez conceded just once in 11 attempts, coming off a 6-3 loss to arch-rivals Manchester City in gameweek nine of the Premier League season.

In that time, United have conceded just five goals apart from beating City, and kept plenty of clean sheets, which would suggest the budding bromance is reaping rewards on the pitch.

The Red Devils have lost just once with Martinez and Varane playing against each other

The Red Devils have lost just once with Martinez and Varane playing against each other

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